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Cold canvassing online

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Thursday June 15, 2006 )

In my various roles, I get around a dozen job applications and partnership approaches each day from web development and graphic design contractors.

An unsettling trend I’m noticing is that the online cold canvassing coming from countries where English is *not* the primary language tends to be of a higher quality than the ones coming from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Here’s an example I received today:

“Hi my name is X I’m a graphic design with an associate degree, and i am looking for a job; any hours that you may have is fine, if you can help please write me back Thank you.”

That was it, the only thing I changed in the above was to remove the name.

This level of quality coming from someone with an Associate Degree? Terrible layout, informal language used, shocking grammar and spelling errors? No link to portfolio?

It’s unfortunate that this is by no means an isolated incident. What are they teaching in Uni these days and for that matter, high schools? I’ve seen many papers graded the equivalent of “A” and yet they are loaded with gross spelling and grammatical errors. Whatever happened to the 3 R’s?

We all make mistakes; I’m by no means an English whizz, but care needs to be taken when asking someone else to take action on an issue who really has no obligation to.

Sure, in this case the applicant was a *graphic* designer, but graphic designers also work with text. I’ve seen some very talented artists who can’t spell to save their lives – and it becomes very apparent in their work.

When approaching someone regarding a partnership or a job, the applicant needs to present themselves at their very best. If that sort of standard is their best, it makes me wonder how they’ll perform at their worst.

You only get one shot at making a good first impression, whether it’s for a job, selling to a potential customer or requesting a link exchange – make the most of it.

It’s especially critical to make an extra good impression when you’re cold canvassing for work online – something very positive and enticing must leap out so the reader either:

a) Takes the time to learn a little more about you
b) Grabs you before somebody else does, even if there may not be a burning need for your skill set at that particular time.
c) Remembers you when a position or contract becomes available.

Learn more about writing applications for web based jobs, contract work and projects

Learn more about link exchange etiquette


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